are fighting on behalf of their teachers union payers to prevent parents from choosing the right education for their children. The left-wing party, of course, seeks to limit freedom in a wide range of policies, but the importance of education as a political issue is underscored strongly in the run-up to the midterm congressional elections. Fortunately, this is a debate that the left is losing.
overwhelming majority of parents
, 82%, say they will consider switching their allegiance on Election Day to vote for candidates from a party that shares their views on education. That includes 79% Republicans, 81% Democrats and 88% independents. Whatever lessons they think should be taught, parents agree that the decision is theirs. They don’t want to be dictated to or see their children taken as ideological hostages.
This shows once again that people who are willing to dismiss many issues as “just politics” that they can safely ignore do not adopt the same laissez-faire attitude on the issue of learning. of their children. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) demonstrated the political power of that distinction when he unseated Terry McAuliffe to win last year’s election in Virginia.
But President Joe Biden refuses to learn the lesson. Just three months ago, long after the implications of Virginia’s parental rebellion should have been felt, her administration
issued a new rule
it could force some public charter schools to close by denying them federal funds if they contract out operations to for-profit educators.
The practice is widespread, and Robert Eitel, president of the Institute for the Defense of Liberty, said at the time: “It is confirmation that the Democratic Party has moved strongly to the left when it comes to education. …it would have a chilling effect on new charter schools and make it difficult to pursue existing ones.
The comment is broadly true, but it appears public opposition to the rule is both broad and bipartisan, and some Democratic politicians know the issue could explode in their faces. It’s certainly not the least because Biden has told 2020 voters he’s a moderate alternative to an impending socialist takeover of the party. Instead, he opposed the right of parents to choose what their children learn and from whom.
But a Supreme Court ruling this week shows the tide is flowing strongly for parents. The judges ruled 6-3 that Maine cannot prohibit parents from spending education vouchers at schools simply because those schools are operated by religious organizations. The decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, reiterated First Amendment protections for religious freedom, saying that once a state decides to subsidize private education, “it cannot disqualify certain private schools. only because they are religious”. Leftist politicians and administrators will no longer be able to target Christian schools to starve them in the future.
Which is a good thing in principle – but also timely in practice, as more and more parents, having realized (especially during pandemic distance learning) how public education has become an ideological mess, send their children to private, often Catholic, schools.
Many do so less for religious education and more because these schools are more likely to resist left-wing demands for woke indoctrination and try to offer a classical education instead. (By the way, shouldn’t Wokeism be considered a religion, given that its tenets inspire cross-faith despite their lack of supporting data?)
If you need more proof that parental rights in education continue to be a winning political issue and weren’t an outlier in Virginia last year, look no further than the fact that the governor of Florida’s Ron DeSantis – apparently by far the most talented politician of the day and a lock for a presidential race in 2024 – is putting him at the center of his gubernatorial re-election campaign.
The first sentence of its education program commits it to “student success, parental rights, and curriculum transparency,” three essential elements to wresting America’s failing public schools from ideologues and putting children’s learning back between good hands.
Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis backed her husband’s focus on parental rights in education with the launch this week of “Mamas for DeSantis,” aiming to garner one million signatures from voters focused on the family in favor of the governor’s re-election. “Glad to see so much energy around the @RonDeSantisFL education program,” the first lady tweeted. “I look forward to these leaders adding their voice to our student-focused program.”
The words are scripted bromides, but they are sharp nonetheless. And they are precisely targeting the corrupt heart of the left-wing educational establishment.